May 28, 2013 10:10am PT by Sophie Schillaci
Emblem3 Debuts First Music Video, Are They SoCal's Answer to One Direction? (Video)
Those early mornings and late nights competing on Fox’s The X Factor have paid off for Emblem3, the Huntington Beach-based trio that finished in fourth place during season two of the Fox reality competition.
The group, made up of Drew Chadwick, 20, Wesley Stromberg, 19, and Keaton Stromberg, 16, have finished recording their debut album (though a release date has not been set) and have already completed back-to-back tours bringing them from California to New York and back again. As their debut single “Chloe” is climbing towards its Billboard Hot 100 debut, the boys have released their first official music video.
Having been mentored by Simon Cowell on The X Factor and promptly signed to his Syco Music and Columbia Records, insiders hope that Emblem3 could be SoCal's answer to Brit boy band sensation One Direction, who were similarly discovered on the U.K.'s version of X Factor. Working in their favor is super producer/songwriter Savan Kotecha, named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the industry's biggest hitmakers and the man behind One Direction's rapid rise to the top. In addition to executive producing Emblem3's as-yet-untitled album through his Mr. Kanani imprint, Kotecha shares a writing credit with Emblem3, Kool Kojak and Peter Svensson on "Chloe."
Hours after seeing a first edit of the clip, Keaton told THR that he was “so stoked” for fans to see the finished product.
Added big brother Wesley: “It makes me like the song way more. I love the song, but now you get to see us singing it and you get it.”
The video is straightforward, with the Plain Jane “Chloe” seemingly invisible until the boys declare their affections for her. All the while, Drew, Wesley and Keaton bounce around on stage pouring their hearts out to a sold-out crowd of adoring fans.
“It was hard work,” said Drew of the grueling 16-hour workday. “I think out of any job I’ve ever had to work before -- this is going to sound crazy to anyone who’s never shot a music video -- but that was one of the hardest days of work. The energy level has to be so high all day, because your energy shows back on the footage, so you’ve got to keep yourself in that right mind set.”
And with all that jumping around, it’s no wonder they were tired! Watch the full clip here.
With the third season of X Factor gearing up and new judges Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio recently announced, THR also asked Emblem3 what they thought of the new panel and whether they’d be interested in returning to the set.
“I never thought I’d say this, but I do miss the crew there,” said Drew, while the trio reminisced about their time in the show’s Hollywood Hills mansion.
For the record: regarding a potential performance on the X Factor stage, Keaton responds with a resounding, “Uh, yes!”
Not that the band's next endeavor is anything to sneeze at. Beginning Aug. 14, Emblem3 will be touring across the U.S., South America and Europe opening for none other than Selena Gomez.
Tate Stevens, who ended up winning the show's $5 million recording contract in December, remains the only other season two alum to have product on the market. His debut self-titled album hit shelves on April 23 and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Over on the Billboard 200, Tate Stevens peaked at No. 18. Fifth Harmony, the all-girl group that placed third in the competition and were subsequently signed to Epic Records, are said to be nearing completion on their own debut, though a proper single has yet to be released.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci